November 17

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. HEBREWS 11:1 NKJV

Before Israel went into battle, the prophets would ask God if had given them the city. That’s because God honors faith when it’s connected to what He’s promised. What you should fight for-is what God has promised you. Don’t say God failed you, if He didn’t promise it to you in the first place! And don’t get angry, because misguided desire made you reach for what He gave to somebody else. The old timers used to sing, “Every promise in the book is mine, every chapter every verse every line.” That’s so, in the sense that God loves us all equally. But there are certain promises He wants to fulfill in your life, because your calling is different from that of others. And you must seek Him for clarity and guidance.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:29 NKJV). Don’t just listen to the preacher, try to hear what God is saying to you through the preacher. You can hear something entirely different from the next guy, because God is “personalizing” it to you. The Bible is called the “Living Word,” because certain Scriptures suddenly come to life and take root within you. You can hear what nobody else hears, or even miss several of the pastor’s points, and go home with the answer you need. When you say, “I get it. It’s mine,” the faith that comes by “hearing” is doing its special work ithin you.



A teenager was driving his car down a one-way street

.”Where do you think you are going?” asked the policeman.

​”I don’t know, but I must be late, ’cause everybody is coming back.'” …


November 16

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. HEBREWS 11:1 NKJV

Notice two important things about faith: (1) Faith is a substance. In the U.S., people trade in dollars; in Europe they trade in Euros. But in God’s Kingdom, faith is “the coin of the realm!” It’s what’s required to do business with God (See Heb 11:6). And it grows only by feeding on His Word (See Ro 10:17). (2) Faith must be connected to hope. If you’re not hoping for anything, you don’t need faith. But your hope must be based on what God’s Word says. When God promised to make Abraham the father of many nations, Abraham spent the next twenty years looking for a son, even though the situation seemed impossible. How did he do it?

(a) “He believed-God, who … calls those things which do not exist as though they did” (Ro 4:17 NKJV). God “sees” it, then He reveals it to you. And His willingness to bless you with it, rests on your willingness to believe Him for it. (b) “Who, contrary to hope … believed … according to what was spoken” (Ro 4:18 NK]V). What has God said? That’s what your hope should be built on. (c) “He did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old)” (Ro 4:19 NK]V). You say, “But considering the circumstances … !” No, believe God; He’s bigger than the circumstances! (d) “He did not waver. .. through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Ro 4:20-21 NK]V). So, strengthen your faith through the Scriptures. Keep giving glory to God for what He’s promised you. Be resolute. Such faith honors God, and God honors such faith!



A pastor, a doctor and an engineer wait for a particularly slow group of golfers.

The engineer fumes, “What’s with these guys? We’ve been waiting for 15 minutes!”

The pastor says, “Hey, here comes the groundskeeper. Let’s have a word with him.”

“Say, George, what’s with that group ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?” the doctor asks.

The groundskeeper tells them that the other golfers are a group of blind firefighters who lost their sight saving the clubhouse from a fire and that they come and play for free whenever they want.

The group is silent for a moment.

The pastor says, “That’s so sad. I will say a special prayer for them tonight.”

The doctor says, “Good idea. I’m going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there’s anything he can do for them.”

​The engineer says, “Why can’t these guys play at night?”



Perfect love casts out fear. 1 JOHN 4:18 NKJV

since God’s love is the only” perfect” love, it removes our fears. What are you afraid of? That you won’t get something you need, or that you’ll lose something you’ve got? “His perfect love for us eliminates all dread … If we are afraid, it … shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us”

(IJn 4:18 TLB). Today, ask God to give you a fresh understanding of how much He loves you, for what He loves He prizes, protects, and provides for.

We are drawn to people who love us, so why is it so difficult for us to go to God in prayer? It’s because we need a fresh understanding of His love for us! Paul writes: “[I pray] …that. .. you’ll be able to take in … the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love” (Eph 3:18 TM). Extravagant love! God couldn’t love you any more than He does right now! You say, “What does God’s love look like?” Look at the cross. If you had been the only person who ever lived, Jesus would have died just for YOLI. “What does God’s love cost me?” you ask. It comes with no strings attached. You didn’t do anything to deserve it, so when you fail you don’t forfeit it. He never stops loving you! The Bible says: “Absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love” (Ro 8:39 TM).

Once you’re secure in God’s love you can begin to acknowledge your weaknesses, seek His help, grow strong, and use the gifts He’s given you. When you know God loves you based on who you are, not the color of your skin Of your life’s accomplishments, you have the ultimate self-esteem-born of God’s esteem for you.



If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?


If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?


Do Lipton Tea employees take “coffee breaks?


NOVEMBER 5, 2020

Let us go into the house of the Lord. PSALM 122:1

What’s your reason for not going to church? Before you answer, read Ten Reasons Why I Never Wash!


(1) I was forced to wash as a child. (2) People who wash are all hypocrites; they think they are cleaner than everyone else. (3) There are so many different kinds of soap; I just can’t decide which one is best for me. (4) I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped doing it. (5) I only wash on special occasions like

Christmas and Easter. (6) None of my friends wash. (7) I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier. (8) I don’t have time to wash. (9) The bathroom is never warm enough in winter or cool enough in summer, (10) The people who make soap are only after your money! Sound familiar?

Speaking of the church, Paul writes: “There should be no division .. .its parts should ha ve equal concern for each other … each one of YOLl is a part of it” (lCo 12:25-27 NIV). You are part of Christ’s body, the church, so you need to be there! Watchman Nee says: “Alone I cannot serve the Lord effectively, and he will spare no pains to teach me tbis. He will bring things to an end, allowing doors to close and leaving me effectively knocking my head against a wall until I realize that I need the help of the body, as well as of the Lord. ” There are truths taught in God’s house that you won’t hear anywhere else. There you’ll

find a spiritual family to belong to, a faith to live by, and a focus that gets your eyes where they should be-on Christ! So, see you in church on Sunday!



Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?


If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?


Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car is not called a racist?



You … are a letter front Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:3 NIV

                YOU know a Letter is addressed to YOU, the question becomes it say? Certain key words in 2 Corinthians stand out: “transformed,” “renounced,” and “made new!” “We … are being transformed into his likeness” (2Co 3:18 NIV). “We have renounced secret and shameful ways” (2Co 4:2 NIV). “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2Co 5:17 NIV). The message in our letter should make it clear that we’re not the people we used to be, because:

(a) Christ has changed LIS mentally. Being “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Ro 12:2) we now look at life, ourselves, others, our challenges and options in light of God’s thoughts, not ours. We see opportunities where we saw only obstacles, and possibilities where we saw only problems. Minds that were frazzled with worry, are now filled with confidence and peace. (b) Christ has changed us morally. The list of wrongdoers mentioned in leo 6:9-10 was a lifestyle all too familiar to us. It includes the immoral, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, etc. Then comes glorious verse 11: “And that

is what some of you were. But you were washed … sanctified … justified in the name of the Lord jesus Christ” (NIV). He has transformed our character. (c) Christ has changed us spiritually. Once we were unable to enjoy His Word, His worship and His ways. Now, alive by His indwelling Spirit, we revel in these things (See ‘ICo 2:14)t Your letter should read: “Jesus changed my life, and if you Jet Him, He will change yours too!” So today, deliver your love letter to everyone you meet.



The young preacher was asked what was meant by the word “procrastination.”

“I really don’t know,” he replied.

“However, I think it is something Presbyterians believe in.”



You … are a letter from Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NIV

Bible says your life is a love letter from Jesus, “known and read by everybody.” But a letter is only effective, if it is easily read and understood. An older friend said of his deteriorating handwriting, “I can still read writin’, but I can’t write readin’!” Incomprehensible writing distorts the message and discourages the reader. The purpose, to convey the writer’s thoughts, is lost, and the reader either stops reading or fails to get the .message.

To ensure that your love letter from Jesus gets through to the people He’s sending it to, here are some common distortions to avoid: (a) Dishonesty, like padding your expense account, stealing company time or taking home items you think won’t be missed. (b) A begrudging, resentful attitude when a friend,

fellow worker or boss asks you to go the extra mile and help at an inconvenient time. (c) Shoddy workmanship, reflected in a substandard product or service. (d) Undependability and inconsistency, such as when you can’t be counted on to be where you’re supposed to be, or to fulfill your obligations. (e) Being a killjoy. Christians who lack a sense of humor and resiliency, who act like they’re “joy-impaired,” hurt the cause of Christ. (f) Touchiness, like when you wear your feelings on your sleeve,

are easily upset and overreact to unintended offenses. (g) Temper tantrums, where you’re crabby and grumpy because things don’t go your way. (h) “Holy joe-iris” that makes you speak in self-righteous, supercilious tones. Since you are being “known and read by everybody,” guard against these behaviors that distort the life-giving message God wants to send to others through you.



An eye witness account from New York City, on a cold day in December, some years ago:

A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing in front of a shoe store on the sidewalk, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, “My, but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window!”

“I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.

She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.

Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, you will be more comfortable now.”

As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her,

“Are you God’s wife?”



You … are a letter from Christ. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:3 NIY

John 3:16 is the greatest message ever sent to man. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” God sent Jesus to demonstrate His love and He sends us to declare it! “You … are a letter from Christ … written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,” to a lost, stressed-out world

searching for answers.

Now, when a letter arrives certain questions arise: (1) Who is it addressed to? This letter is addressed to “whoever believes.” For every person you meet, you have something they need, something more important than a tax cut, a salary increase, a solution for global warming or a cancer cure. Friends, enemies, relatives, neighbors, workmates and strangers need the message you have and the hope you bring. (2) Who is it frond The author’s identity determines the reader’s interest level, You are a letter from Christ, about Christ. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” (2Co 4:5 NIV). Our message is not about us; it’s about Jesus. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NKJV). Religious folks advertise their religion. We advocate Christ. “But are people really interested in Jesus?” you ask. Yes! In His lifetime He drew multitudes. Since His death and resurrection He draws countless millions of both sexes, all strata of society and every nation on earth. “But I, when I am lifted up … will draw all men to myself” (In 12:32 NIV). Today

nothing is more needed than a living portrait of Jesus Christ, so deliver your love letter to “whoever” crosses your path!

Taken from the Best of the WORD FOR YOU TODAY.


“I hope you didn’t take it personally, Pastor” an embarrassed woman said after a church service, “when my husband walked out during your sermon.”

“I did find it rather disconcerting,” the pastor replied.

“It’s not a reflection on you, Pastor” insisted the church goer.

“Carl has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.



I will … heal your wounds. JEREMIAH 30:17 NIV

Addressing the student body at Virginia Tech after a shooting rampage that left thirty of them dead and dozens more wounded, Philip Yancey said: “Peter said to Jesus … ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.’ You’ve heard, ‘Things will get better, you’ll get past this.’ Those who offer such comfort mean well, and what you feel now you won’t always feel. Yet you’re a different person because of that day. When three of my friends died I came across these lines: ‘Grief melts away like snow in May,’ as if there were no such thing as cold. I dung to that, even as grief smothered me like an avalanche. It did melt away, but like snow it came back in fierce, unexpected ways, triggered by a sound, a smell, a fragment of memory.”

Yancey continued: “Pain is a sign of life and love. I’m wearing a neck brace because I broke my neck in an accident. Initially medical workers refused to give me medication because they needed my response. The doctor kept asking, ‘Does this hurt? Can you feel that?’ The answer he desperately wanted was, ‘Yes, it hurts, I can feel it,’ proof that my spinal cord hadn’t been severed. Pain offers proof of life, of connection. In deep wounds two kinds of tissue must heal: connective tissue, plus the outer protective tissue. If the outer protective tissue heals too quickly the inner connective tissue won’t heal properly,

leading to complications later.” Don’t attempt healing alone; real healing takes time; it takes place where God’s presence, God’s peace, and God’s people are. Are you hurting today? Turn to God. His promise to you is “I will. .. heal your wounds.”



You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. You miss worship one Sunday morning and by 2 o’clock that afternoon you have

had a dozen phone calls inquiring about your health.


  1. High notes on the organ set dogs in the parking lot to howling.


  1. People wonder when Jesus fed the 5,000 whether the two fish were bass or catfish.


  1. It’s not heaven, but you can see heaven from there.


  1. The final words, of the benediction are, “Y’all come on back now, ya hear!”



We do not know what we should pray for … but the spirit … makes intercession for us. ROMANS 6:26 NKJV      

When you go to a foreign country you can feel uncomforable and a bit lost, because you don’t speak the language. Everything is different from what you’re accustomed to.

The language of the spiritual world is prayer. And since the spiritual world is the source of our power, victory, peace, joy, and everything else we need, it’s essential that we learn to speak it. The good news is, we have the perfect teacher and interpreter -the Holy Spirit Himself. One of His jobs is to teach us the

language of prayer and guide us when it comes to addressing God. And He’s good at this job! The Bible says the Holy Spirit can interpret our prayers to God even when we don’t know what to say. “If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of

our wordless sighs, our aching groans” (Ro 8:26 TM). Isn’t that wonderful?

Prayer is the link between the physical and the spiritual world-and since the spiritual world controls the physical, getting connected to the world above affects our functioning in the world below. And because prayer is relational, the Holy Spirit will communicate God’s heart back to us by connecting with our human spirit so that we’ll hear God talk to us in the deepest part of our being. That’s why prayer cannot be rushed. It’s also why taking time to meditate and be still before God is so important. It allows the Holy Spirit to share God’s thoughts with us, so that we begin thinking His way. How valuable is that?



You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. The only time people lock their cars in the parking lot is during the summer and

then only so their neighbors can’t leave them a bag of squash.


  1. There is no such thing as a “secret” sin.


  1. Baptism is referred to as “branding.”


  1. There is a special fund-raiser for a new septic tank.


  1. Finding and returning lost sheep is not just a parable.



We are the clay, and You our potter. ISAIAH 64:8 NKJV

Imagine a beautiful china teacup saying: “I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was just a cold, hard, colorless lump of day. One day the potter picked me up and said, ‘I could do something with this.’ Then he started to put pressure on me and change my shape. I said, ‘What are you doing? That hurts. Stop!’ But he said, ‘Not yet.’ Then he put me on a wheel and began to spin me around and around until I shouted, ‘Let me off.’ He replied, ‘Not yet.’ Then he shaped me into a cup and put me in a hot oven. I cried, ‘Let me out of here, I’m suffocating.’ But he looked at me and said, ‘Not yet.’ When he took

me out, I thought his work on me was over, but then he started to paint me. I couldn’t believe what he did next. He put me back into the oven, and I said, ‘I can’t stand this, please let me out!’ But be said, ‘Not yet.’ Finally he took me out of the oven and set me on a shelf where I thought he had forgotten me. Then one day be took me off the shelf and held me up before a mirror. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had become a beautiful teacup that everyone wants to buy.”

There are things going on in your life today that you don’t understand. When you finally get to the place God wants you to be, you’ll realize that He has been making YOU into a vessel He can use, bless, and use to bless others. So, allow God to shape you!



You Might be in a Country Church if:

  1. Prayers regarding the weather are a standard part of every worship service.


  1. A singing group is known as “The O.K. Chorale.”


  1. The church directory doesn’t have last names.


  1. The pastor wears boots.


  1. Four generations of one family sit together in worship every Sunday.


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